Share this content

Appealing to a Tax Tribunal

Have you every taken a case to a Tribunal and was it worth it ?

Didn't find your answer?

I have a client who has exhaused HMRC's internal review processes in appealing against PAYE not deducted from an employee where HMRC are seeking the unpaid tax from the employer. I believe my client has a good case that HMRC did not do their job properly but the amount involved is £2,500 and I am concerned that the management time plus a possible need for specialist advise makes this uneconomic to pursue. Any advice would be welcome.

Replies (9)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By sarahg
08th Oct 2021 13:19

For that kind of money it's probably not worth it, but without knowing why you think they have a strong case it's hard to know

Thanks (0)
By SteveHa
08th Oct 2021 13:31

The closest I got was notifying the appeal to the Tribunal, and then preparing my document bundle.

HMRC caved before the hearing.

Thanks (2)
By Roland195
08th Oct 2021 13:33

I doubt even a favorable outcome at a tribunal would compensate for the time & costs spent in full.

Believing that HMRC did no do their job properly here is only one facet of the case usually.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Roland195:
By Catherine Newman
08th Oct 2021 14:04

I have done it. It was testing the SP Taylor case which removed the 870,000 penalties back in 2013. It was the reasonable excuse where I completely forgot to file the return. The client always comes very late in January. Keith Gordon very kindly helped me pro bono. I did the paperwork (it was a paper hearing) but he advised me on the final wording and how to proceed. We won. You have nothing to lose.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Catherine Newman:
By More unearned luck
08th Oct 2021 17:46

... but, blood, toil, sweat and tears.

To the OP: Go for it. It will be good experience. KG has written a book on appealing to the tribunal. Buy a copy.

Thanks (0)
By Paul Crowley
08th Oct 2021 14:11

FTT do not usually award costs even if you were successful.
I tell clients that I would be charging a minimum of £1,000.
Last time travel and attendance time probably was worth it to my client as client losing his subcontract gross status.
We attended and won
Same client on a seperate occasion, a good £1,000 of time costs pre tribunal and as mentioned above HMRC caved a week or so before the tribunal hearing.
That was the CIS penalty Avalanche that HMRC denied being in existence. HMRC updated the software and the new software did not recognise the six month claims for no need to submit
My client had £60,000 of late filing penalties raised
HMRC refused to speak on the phone at all

Thanks (1)
By lesley.barnes
08th Oct 2021 14:27

We don't know enough about the problem -which I understand. Have you asked for a review? Could you use ADR - it would depend on the issue.

Thanks (0)
Replying to lesley.barnes:
By More unearned luck
08th Oct 2021 18:08

The procedure is, if review offered: review offer accepted or rejected. Await outcome of review if accepted. Then appeal to the tribunal and then apply for ADR, then ask the tribunal for a stay for the duration of the ADR process.

The only time I used ADR was a case where the client had used the wrong PAYE code and stopped too little tax from an employee's pay. HMRC wrote to him about it and asked him to phone them. He did so. He was told he would not have to pay the shortfall. He minuted the call. A year later a Reg 80 determination came out of the blue. HMRC's initial response to my appeal and the review both refused to have regard to the phone call. The ADR officer was wonderful, she obtained a copy of the sound recording of the phone call and when it was played back to the officers dealing with the appeal they caved in.

Thanks (0)
By stepurhan
08th Oct 2021 15:00

Is it to establish a point of principle that could apply to other clients in the future, or is it very much dependent on the specific facts? If the latter, does the decision going against them have other (possibly non-monetary) consequences they are seeking to avoid?

I could see the value in pursuing a case that could be pointed to in future, creating a much larger saving, or had other value. I think the costs will far outweigh the saving on this case alone.

That said, whilst you can advise the costs outweigh the benefits, it is your client's decision.. If they wish to pursue the case because they just don't want HMRC to win, then you should pursue the case. I would only refuse to pursue a case where I think it had no merit.

Thanks (0)
Share this content